The last few months have been some of the best months of our lives, living in wonder and gratitude more than we were able to previously. We celebrated holidays with family, read books for fun, watched as our baby has had all of her "firsts" in life- what joy!!
I had a check up this last week and everything checked out stable! I had several imaging tests done of my heart that showed that my cardiac tumor is the same size it was one year ago, as well as some additional body scans that showed no additional tumors. I am still not having any symptoms, I feel as great as I ever have! Still (attempting to) eat as much fresh organic food as possible and get some exercise in. The insane fluctuations in weather and gloominess of winter have been inhibiting my activity level more than my cancer has (also, brownies and girl scout cookies. I'm only human, people)! Our prayers for health and for healing are being answered every day. God is doing an amazing work in us so that we may stand among you and shout about how wonderful our Lord is! Not for hearing our prayer list and checking it off, but for his enduring and unfailing love and faithfulness to the undeserving people he calls his own.
I have been looking for a job as a Physician Assistant working part time in Nashville, and am still continuing my search since the job market here for mid levels is rather frigid. Whenever I talk about my job search, people always tell me "God will give you something perfect when the time is right." And the first time someone said this to me, my jaw dropped and my brain went all fuzzy and all I could think was "DUH. Big fat DUH." I had not internalized that idea even a little bit before that moment. I know and believe with all my heart that God is sovereign over my life and has a plan for his people, and when we were in the throws of cancer and pregnancy and sadness, I relied on The Lord for absolutely everything. And now here I am only just realizing that God is God of my career, too. Just like he is God of my health and God of my heart and God of my family, he is the God of my career pursuits. I seem to have completely shouldered the responsibility of academic achievement myself. I worked so hard in high school to get MY degree to get into MY college to pick MY major to get into MY PA school to have MY career. Sometimes I managed to wriggle God into some crevices along the path here and there, but mostly I tucked my head down and charged forward working my very hardest and letting God guide the rest of my path. DUH!! Big fat DUH! People keep asking me about the job hunt and I keep telling them that the search is pretty grim so far and I usually insert a small "I goofed" and tell them about how I am just really realizing that God's got his hands in this. That small confession helps me remind myself what I already know so that I can know it more fully each time. It usually works, though sometimes I find myself becoming annoyed that I have so quickly forgotten it again.
But don't let me trick you into thinking that I don't like staying at home with CJ, because I LOVE IT! It's so miraculous to be a daily part of a baby's life and development. I love getting to watch her try new things and to see her learning from ME! That is an incredibly powerful experience. I never thought I would be able to stay at home- I didn't think I was "that kind of person," whatever that means. But it has turned out to be an incredible gift to experience the constant joy of being around one of God's newest creations!
Here she is recently, I know you were wanting to see some baby pictures, RIGHT??!?!??!?
If you're thinking she looks big, you're spot on. Girlfriend was born in the 3rd% for height, and now she is in the 93rd%. No joke. Usually a child is born into a certain percentile and will then stay within a close range of that percentile throughout their entire childhood. Not this girl, she is defying all kinds of everything with the hand of God. Amazing, isn't it?
I had a birthday last month, and it was the most significant birthday I have ever had. Instead of thinking ahead into what my next year may hold, I was delighting in the mere fact that I was having my 26th birthday. To be alive this year is no small feat, for any of us really, and celebrating another birthday was like a firework show of reminders to the significance of my days. Like shot after shot of beautiful light display showing me that my life is an intentional act of preservation and healing. I'm 26 and I could not be more thankful to be here and to be 26.
And to make things even BETTER, Carley Jean turns 1 this Friday. Can you believe it has been a year since she was born? I can't. That was easily the fastest year ever. I feel like I was pregnant twice that long.
There have been a few moments over the last few months when John and I feel like we are actually standing in the presence of The Lord seeing his glory and letting it overwhelm us. Sometimes because of a song, or a sermon, an opportunity to use our gifts, or just an amazing conversation. I can see into her first birthday that The Lord is standing there with open arms waiting to overwhelm us with his glory and remind us of the brand new life he has given us, both in ourselves and in Carley Jean. And we will celebrate God's graciousness and our own continued freedom as a tribute to our sweet little baby girl as those are the meanings of her name. Carley Jean.
Since I got a good report at this recent check up, I am not going to go back for another 3 months, so there will be (hopefully) very little to update on as far as my health condition goes. Which is completely amazing. So I think I will start to transition into writing for fun instead of prayerful petition. I would like to share some of the things I have been mindful of over the last months and years as they relate to God and trials and whatever else I tend to think about. I invite you to keep sharing this journey with me as it transitions to a narrative from a play-by-play (but if you unsubscribe from the emails I won't get my feelings hurt). Thank you for the support you have shown me on this impossible road that has turned out to be entirely possible after all.